January 17th edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government

 

This Issues Features:

Wage Recovery Ordinance
Foster Grandparents Volunteer for MLK Day of Service
FDEP Minimum Flows and Levels Workshop
Fire Rescue Receives $2.19 Million Grant
Boys and Girls Club of Alachua County
FloridaWorks/CareerSource North Central Florida
NW 16th Ave Mill and Resurface Project Update
The Health Benefits of Pet Ownership
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Waste Collection
County Asks Residents to “Skip A Week” of Irrigation
City of Gainesville Election Information
January Commercial Horticulture Program
Commission Highlights

Wage Recovery Ordinance

The Alachua County Wage Recovery Ordinance went into effect on January 1, 2014. The purpose of the ordinance is to provide employees in Alachua County a method for collecting unpaid or underpaid wages on a local level.

The ordinance provides:

Employees who work for a covered employer within the geographic boundaries of Alachua County can file a wage theft complaint (non-payment or underpayment of earned wages), with the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office. The deadline for filing a complaint is 180 days from the date the wages were due. If an employer is found to have unlawfully failed to pay earned wages, the employee will be entitled to receive double the back wages due.

Read the Wage Recovery Program brochure (PDF).

For more information, contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275. TDD uses, please call 711 (Fl Relay).


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Foster Grandparents Volunteer for MLK Day of Service

On January 9, 2014, the Alachua County Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) participated in the “National Martin Luther King (MLK) Day of Service.” This is the fourth year the Foster Grandparents have participated in a MLK Day of Service project, a nationwide volunteer initiative sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Approximately 100 Foster Grandparent volunteers, all age 55 and over, worked in teams to make “life packs” (baskets of food and daily essential living items donated by the Foster Grandparents and the FGP Advisory Council) for distribution to The HONOR Center and local veterans.

According to the national organizers, “This milestone is a perfect opportunity for Americans to honor Dr. King’s legacy through service. The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a beloved community.”

The HONOR Center (providing Hope, Opportunities, Networking, Outreach and Recovery), located in Gainesville, is a facility providing comprehensive homeless programs, including Permanent Supported Housing, HUD-VASH, Grant and Per Diem Transitional Housing, Health Care for Re-Entry Veterans, and Veterans Justice Outreach.

For more information, contact FGP Program Coordinator, Sheryl Baker at 352-264-6757.

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FDEP Minimum Flows and Levels Workshop

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection announced that it will hold a public meeting/workshop to discuss the proposed Minimum Flows and Levels (MFLs) and Recovery Strategies for the Lower Santa Fe and Ichetucknee Rivers and associated priority springs. The meeting is on Wednesday, January 22, 2014, at 10 a.m. in the Alachua County Administration Building’s Jack Durrance Auditorium, Room 209, Second Floor, 12 SE 1st Street, Gainesville, Florida.

Click to View Agenda

Useful backup materials:
Draft Recovery Strategy.pdf
Draft Chapter 6242.pdf

This is also being advertised as a Alachua County Commission Special Meeting. This allows multiple County Commissioners to participate in the discussion while complying with the Florida Sunshine Laws.

“The State is acknowledging that excessive groundwater pumping in North Florida is harming the Santa Fe and Itchetucknee Rivers and their world class springs,” stated Alachua County Environmental Protection Department Director Chris Bird, “The proposed action includes a water recovery plan that can be a foundation for restoring flow to the springs and balancing the regional water budget.”

View the video of the MFL and Recovery Strategies discussion at the 1-14-14 Alachua County Commission meeting

Alachua County EPD PowerPoint presentation from the 1-14-14 Board Meeting

Citizens are encouraged to attend this meeting. It will be available to view live on Cox Channel 12 or on the County’s Video on Demand website.


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Fire Rescue Receives $2.19 Million Grant

The Alachua County Fire Rescue Department (ACFR) was recently awarded a $2.19 million grant from Federal Department of Homeland Security to assist with staffing needs. This award will allow Alachua County to increase staffing in Station 23 (Waldo), Station 25 (Hawthorne) and Station 27 (Archer) from the current two firefighters to a minimum of four firefighters each day.

The Department of Homeland Security, FY2013 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant was established to help communities bridge the gap in providing firefighter staffing levels that are safe and efficient.

Read a Fact Sheet about the SAFER grant (PDF).

The ACFR- 2013 SAFER application was authored by District Chief Drew Dabney. The Fire Rescue Professionals of Alachua County (IAFF Local 3852) provided feedback to strengthen the application. The application received letters of support from Senator Bill Nelson, and Congresswoman Corrine Brown.

ACFR Deputy Chief, Bill Northcutt said, “The improvements in efficiencies and safety are immeasurable. They cannot be overstated.”

For more information, contact Alachua County Fire Rescue Director, Chief Ed Bailey at 352-384-3130 or ecb@alachuacounty.us.

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Boys and Girls Club of Alachua County

This edition of Alachua County Talks features an interview with Boys and Girls Club of Alachua County President Keith Blanchard. Since 1949, the Boys and Girls Club of Alachua County has provided educational, recreational, leadership and sports after-school and summer programming for area youth.

For more information visit the Boys and Girls Club of Alachua County or call 352-372-5342.

View this edition of Alachua County Talks.

Click to subscribe to the County’s YouTube channel (and receive updates when new videos are published).

For more information, contact the Alachua County Communications Office at 352-374-5204.


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FloridaWorks/CareerSource North Central Florida

This edition of Alachua County Talks features an interview with FloridaWorks Executive Director Kim Tesch-Vaught. FloridaWorks, which is changing its name to CareerSource North Central Florida next month, provides career and job search services to residents of Alachua and Bradford Counties.

For more information visit the FloridaWorks website or call 352-955-2245 (Gainesville) or 904-964-8092 (Starke).

View this edition of Alachua County Talks.

Click to subscribe to the County’s YouTube channel (and receive updates when new videos are published).

For more information, contact the Alachua County Communications Office at 352-374-5204.

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NW 16th Ave Mill and Resurface Project Update

Alachua County Public Works is informing motorists that the 16th Ave Mill and Resurface Project has begun. The contractor began signal work and sidewalk/concrete work this week. Throughout the months of January and February, motorists should expect daytime lane closures from NW 51st Street to NW 43rd Street, from NW 40th Terrace to NW 34th Street, and from NW 31st Terrace to NW 16th Terrace.

In early February, the corridor will be reduced to one lane in each direction from approximately NW 31st Drive to NW 23rd Street so water main relocation, gravity wall replacement, and reconstruction work (clay removal) can begin.

The contractor plans to begin asphalt work in March.

The current estimated completion date for the entire project is November, 2014.

Click to view the project report (PDF). This document will be updated monthly.

For more information, contact Alachua County Transportation Engineering Manager, Brian Singleton at 352-548-1306 or bsingleton@alachuacounty.us.

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The Health Benefits of Pet Ownership

Alachua County Animal Services wants to remind residents of the important role pets can play in the health and well-being of pet owners.
Benefits of pet ownership include:  

Pets are available for adoption at the Alachua County Animal Services Headquarters (3400 NE 53rd Ave, Gainesville), Tuesday through Saturday, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The adoption fees are: Cats - $25 and Dogs - $30.  All cats and dogs that have been at Animal Services longer than 21 days are available for adoption at reduced challenge prices: Cats - $10 and Dogs - $15.  All cats and dogs are examined, vaccinated and spayed or neutered prior to leaving Animal Services.

For more information contact Animal Services at 352-264-6870.

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Waste Collection

Due to the observance of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, January 20, 2014, residential curbside collection services for solid waste, recycling and yard trash will be delayed one day for the entire holiday week. The regular schedule for these services will resume the following week.

The five Alachua County Rural Collection Centers, the Leveda Brown Environmental Park and Transfer Station, the Hazardous Waste Collection Center and the Office of Waste Collection will also be closed on Monday, January 20, and will reopen on Tuesday, January 21.

For more information, contact Milton Towns, Alachua County Office of Waste Collection at 352-338-3233.

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County Asks Residents to “Skip A Week” of Irrigation

The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department is suggesting that residents who irrigate their lawns “Skip a Week” or more of watering during the cooler months of January and February. Decreasing irrigation will help conserve drinking water supplies and help restore flow to springs.

According to research by the University of Florida, grass doesn’t need to be watered as often during the cooler months. One-half to three-quarters of an inch of water every 10–14 days is sufficient. In fact, if a lawn has received any significant rainfall, then irrigation systems can be turned off and operated manually as needed.

“Overwatering can encourage pests and disease in your lawn.” said Stacie Greco, Water Conservation Coordinator. “Too much irrigation can also make lawns less able to survive droughts. Skipping a week of watering is as easy as ‘off’ for residents with irrigation timers. Turn the timer to ‘off’ for the week that you want to skip, and ‘on’ for the week that you want to water.”

Residents can determine when grass needs water when:

For more information, visit the County’s Water Resources website or contact Stacie Greco at 352-264-6829 or sgreco@alachuacounty.us.

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City of Gainesville Election Information

City of Gainesville Election
Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Candidate Qualifying for City of Gainesville Election
Noon, Jan 20th – Noon, Jan. 24th

Voter Registration Deadline
Monday, February 10, 2014

Offices Up For Election
Gainesville City Commission At-Large 2
Gainesville City Commission District 2
Gainesville City Commission District 3

Candidate qualifying for the City of Gainesville March 11, 2014 Election will begin Noon, January 20th and end Noon, January 24th.  The offices up for election are Gainesville City Commission At-Large 2, Gainesville City Commission District 2 and Gainesville City Commission District 3 seats.  The Supervisor of Elections Office will be closed on Monday, January 20th in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. 

Voters will still have the opportunity on Monday, January 20th to register to vote or update their voter information by stopping by the Supervisor’s booth from 1 pm to 4 pm at the King Celebration Gospel Program at the Dr. Martin Luther King Multipurpose Center, 1028 NE 14th Street, Gainesville.

City of Gainesville Offices Up for Election
Ganesville City Commission - At-Large 2 Seat
Term of Office – 3 Years
Qualifying Fee - $322.48 (Undue Burden available)

The At-Large Commissioner is elected by the electors of the City of Gainesville to serve a 3-year term. Each candidate for an At-Large seat must be a qualified voter who is a resident of the City for a period of not less than 6 months prior to the date the person qualifies to run for office.  The person elected to an At-Large seat shall continuously reside in the City during the term of office.  The last dates to have moved into the City to meet the residency requirement for the 2014 election would be between July 22, 2013 and July 26, 2013 depending on which day the candidate qualifies in 2014.

Gainesville City Commission - Districts 2 and 3 Seats
Term of Office – 3 years
Qualifying Fee - $322.48 (Undue Burden available)

If you are running for the District 2 Seat, you will be elected by the electors of District 2.  If you are running for the District 3 Seat, you will be elected by the electors of District 3.  You will be elected to serve a 3-year term.  Each candidate for a District seat must be a qualified voter who is a resident of the District from which they seek to be elected for a period of not less than 6 months prior to the date they qualify to run for office.  The person elected Commissioner shall continuously reside in that same City District during the term of office.  The last dates to have moved into the City District to meet the residency requirement for the 2014 election would be between July 22, 2013 and July 26, 2013 depending on which day the candidate qualifies in 2014.\

A current list of candidates seeking election may be viewed on the Supervisor of Elections website at VoteAlachua.com.

Anyone interested in qualifying or needing further information, please visit the Supervisor of Elections website at VoteAlachua.com or call (352) 374-5252.

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January Commercial Horticulture Program

The UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office is pleased to announce the following Commercial Horticulture Program for January, 2014. This program is being offered by Aparna Gazula, Commercial Horticulture Agent, at the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office (2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville).

Green Industries Best Management Practices – January 28, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This workshop is designed to provide training in Best Management Practices for anyone working in the lawn, landscape, pest control, or municipal grounds areas. This is a required training class for all commercial and institutional fertilizer applicators in Alachua County according to the Alachua County Fertilizer Standards and Management Practices Code.

View the program brochure (PDF).

Cost $25.00 includes materials and lunch. See attached brochure for more information.

Pre-register by calling 352-337-6209 at least three working days prior to program.

For more information about this program, call 352-955-2402. Visit the Extension Office calendar for additional programs offered by the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County.

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Commission Highlights

Human Trafficking Awareness Month
The Board proclaimed January 2014 as “Human Trafficking Awareness Month” in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment:
Human Trafficking Awareness Month 2014.pdf

BioMonde Participation in QTI
The Board approved the Resolution supporting a request by DEO to amend BioMonde participation in the QTI Program and authorize the Chair’s signature
Attachment:
BIOMondeResolution.pdf

Lower Santa Fe and Ichetucknee Rivers

Concerning the Proposed Lower Santa Fe and Ichetucknee Rivers and Associated Priority Springs Minimum Flows and Levels and Recovery Strategy, the Board authorized staff to provide comments in support of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection proposed Chapter 62-42, F.A.C. rule at the January 22, 2014 Rule Development Workshop

Attachment: MFL Presentation.pdf
Attachment:
Draft Recovery Strategy.pdf
Attachment:
Draft Chapter 6242.pdf

Community Development Block Grant

Concerning the Alachua County Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Housing Assistance Plan Review, the Board  directed staff to:

1. Amend Appendix A Point Values To Be Used in Ranking Applicants to a) give priority to persons with special needs with a developmental disability with an emphasis on home modifications which will allow homeowners to remain independent in their own homes, and to b) relocate existing language regarding applicants with property located in special flood hazard areas from Appendix A to the Identification of Units section of HAP and eliminate any language in the document that conflicts with this current policy statement.

2. Incorporate language in Identification of Units section of HAP to establish a maximum house size of 2,000 square foot in conditioned space for an applicant’s home to be considered for assistance in CDBG Program.
Attachment:
CDBG HAP for BoCC Review January 14 2014.pdf

 

FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant
Concerning the $2,194,324.00 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG), Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Award, the Board:

Authorize staff to electronically accept grant award,

Adopt the Resolution to establish the grant fund,

Approve the budget amendment,

Authorize 22.0 additional Firefighter FTEs for grant period, and

Approve Inter-fund loan in amount not to exceed $185,000.00 to be repaid when the grant is closed out.

Attachment: FEMA Safer Grant Budget Amendment 01142014.pdf
Attachment:
SAFER Grant Application.pdf
Attachment:
FEMA Grant Award 01142014.pdf
Attachment:
FEMA Safer Resolution 01142014.pdf

Internet-based Video Visitation System
The Board conducted a public hearing and adopted the attached ordinance authorizing the Sheriff to deposit commissions from the operation of internet-based video visitation system in equal amounts into the Inmate Welfare Fund and the County General Fund.
Attachment:
InmateInternetVideo.pdf


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Alachua County Advisory Boards

The Alachua County Commission is committed to citizen involvement on its advisory boards and is soliciting applications for the following vacancies:

Get Involved - Click here for an application: http://www.alachuacounty.us/government/bocc/advisoryboard.aspx

Applications are also available at the County Manager’s Office on the Second Floor of the County Administration Building, 12 SE 1st St., Gainesville. For more information, call (352) 264-6904.

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Thank you for your continued interest in County Government!

Community Update is produced by the County Manager's Communications Office.